Description and operation. Diagnosis and testing

Description and operation

Suspension component


The rear suspension is comprised of (Fig. 1):

  • Drive Axle
  • Leaf Springs
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Stabilizer Bar
  • Jounce Bumpers

CAUTION: Suspension components with rubber/ urethane bushings should be tightened with the vehicle at normal ride height. It is important to have the springs supporting the weight of the vehicle when the fasteners are torqued. This will maintain vehicle ride comfort and prevent premature bushing wear.

Shock absorbers


The top of the shock absorbers are bolted to the body crossmember. The bottom of the shocks are bolted to the axle brackets.


Ride control is accomplished through the use of dual-action shock absorbers. The shocks dampen the jounce and rebound as the vehicle travels over various road conditions.

Fig. 1 Rear Suspension Fig. 1 Rear Suspension





Stabilizer bar


The stabilizer bar extends across the underside of the vehicle and is bolted to the top of the axle. Links at the end of the bar are bolted to the frame.


The stabilizer bar is used to minimize vehicle body roll. The spring steel bar helps to control the vehicle body in relationship to the suspension.

Leaf springs


The rear suspension system uses multi-leaf single stage springs and a solid drive axle. The forward end of the springs are mounted to the body rail hangers through rubber bushings. The rearward end of the springs are attached to the body by the use of shackles.

The spring and shackles use rubber bushings.

The bushing help to isolate road noise.


The springs control ride quality and maintain vehicle ride height. The shackles allow the springs to change their length as the vehicle moves over various road conditions.

Diagnosis and testing

Spring and shock

A knocking or rattling noise from a shock absorber may be caused by movement between mounting bushings and metal brackets or attaching components.

These noises can usually be stopped by tightening the attaching nuts. If the noise persists, inspect for damaged and worn bushings, and attaching components. Repair as necessary if any of these conditions exist.

A squeaking noise from the shock absorber may be caused by the hydraulic valving and may be intermittent.

This condition is not repairable and the shock absorber must be replaced.

The shock absorbers are not refillable or adjustable.

If a malfunction occurs, the shock absorber must be replaced. To test a shock absorber, hold it in an upright position and force the piston in and out of the cylinder four or five times. The action throughout each stroke should be smooth and even.

The spring eye and shock absorber bushings do not require any type of lubrication. Do not attempt to stop spring bushing noise by lubricating them.

Grease and mineral oil-base lubricants will deteriorate the bushing rubber.

If the vehicle is used for severe, off-road operation, the springs should be examined periodically. Check for broken and shifted leafs, loose and missing clips, and broken center bolts. Refer to Spring and Shock Absorber Diagnosis chart for additional information.


SPRING SAGS 1. Broken leaf

2. Spring fatigue.

1. Replace spring.

2. Replace spring.

SPRING NOISE 1. Loose spring clamp bolts.

2. Worn bushings.

3. Worn or missing spring tip inserts.

1. Tighten to specification.

2. Replace bushings.

3. Replace spring tip inserts.

SHOCK NOISE 1. Loose mounting fastener.

2. Worn bushings.

3. Leaking shock.

1. Tighten to specification.

2. Replace shock.

3. Replace shock.

    Dodge Durango (DN) 1998-2003 Service Manual


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